Watt to Green Bay. Not since Brett Favre waffling over retirement have Packer fans been more eagerly awaiting a decision.
Homegrown hero and superstar DE J.J. Watt is a free agent. The Packers were once again one game short of the Super Bowl, and once again, the defense was largely to blame. Adding Watt seems like a no-brainer on paper, but alas, these things are never so simple.
— Ben Gotz (@TotesmahGotz) February 18, 2021
The salary cap is the obvious elephant in the locker room, with Green Bay needing to shed a ton of salary in order to afford the only player in NFL history with multiple 20+ sack seasons, and as someone who doesn’t know heads or tails of a BitCoin, I am not going to delve into that issue too deeply. I figure if Kansas City only had about a stick of gum and a scratched-up Fleetwood Mac CD remaining in their cap last year, but still somehow signed multiple big free agents, the Packers can get this done. Where there’s a Watt, there’s a way. But would it be worth the trouble? All the cuts and the restructuring? Seems like a lot for the aging, oft-injured former Texan?
You bet your lone stars it would be.
The Packers secondary is a strength when they aren’t being forced to cover people for 20-seconds. When the pass rush is clicking, this defense was a top-10, even top-5 unit last season. The only problem? The pass-rush was too frequently absent, even taken out of very important games. This cannot continue to happen.
Some of this can be attributed to the scheme. Seeing poor Preston Smith trying to cover recovers led to many Packer fans throwing their Spotted Cows right into their TV. Kenny Clark is a star. Za’darius Smith is a beast. Rashan Gary is ascending. But beyond these gents, nobody on the line was consistently enough a threat to be a struggle to scheme against.
Enter, J.J. Watt.
You cannot double team Watt and Smith and Clark. With someone in the pass rush likely to break through on every play, QB’s will have to throw quicker. And remember that secondary most consider a strength, despite underperforming, especially in the turnover department? Could you imagine how much better they would be if the defensive line was able to produce at least a little pressure on every single play? This is a D/ST you could ride all the way to the championship.
There are other issues to take care of, but Watt to Green Bay could be one of the biggest steps to break this team past the NFC Championship.